Personal Finances

What Is a Land Trust?

Are you planning to sell your property soon? Selling real estate assets isn’t as complicated as you think, but you do have to make sure you have all the documentation in order. So what documents do you need and how do you go about securing them?

To make selling your property as easy as possible, consider hiring the services of a land trust. A land trust is a legal entity that can purchase your land and then make it available for sale at a future date when you want to. Keep reading to learn more about what is a land trust.

History of Land Trusts

Land trusts emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in response to the loss of open space and natural resources due to development and urbanization. Early land trusts were formed to protect specific parcels of land, such as watersheds, that were threatened by development.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the land trust movement expanded in response to the growing environmental movement. Today, there are more than 1,700 land trusts in the United States.

Types of Land Trusts

There are many types of land trusts, each with different goals and strategies. Some land trusts focus on protecting natural areas, while others work to create or maintain parks and recreation areas. Still, others work to preserve historic sites or to ensure that land is used for agriculture or forestry. 

Benefits of Land Trusts

Trust for public land can help to preserve green space and farmland, ensuring that these precious resources are not lost to development. It can help to protect water resources, by preserving lands that help to recharge aquifers and by protecting sensitive wetlands and riparian areas.

Land trusts can safeguard scenic vistas and other special places, ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy them. It can also provide opportunities for public recreation, such as hiking, fishing, and bird watching. Land trusts can help to keep working forests working, by preserving lands for sustainable forestry practices.

How to Start a Land Trust

Starting a trust for property requires research and planning. You’ll need to choose a name and structure for your trust, elect trustees, and develop policies. There are many ways to start a land trust, but the first step is always to find an interested landowner.

Once you have found a willing landowner, you can work with them to determine the best way to protect their land. This might involve a conservation easement. 

A conservation easement is an agreement between a land trusts asset protection agency and a landowner that permanently prevents land usage to protect its conservation values. It is one of the most popular ways to start a land trust, but there are many other options depending on the landowner’s goals and the resources available.

Getting a Land Trust

A land trust is a private, nonprofit organization that owns and manages land for the public good. Land trusts work to conserve land for future generations by protecting it from development and preserving its natural resources. You can support land trusts by becoming a member or donating to their cause.

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